The best explanation for precision agriculture is the use of AI to reduce human subjectivity. It uses automated estimation to make farming more accurate and controlled in regards to growing crops and raising livestock. Precision agriculture embraces technological developments such as GPS, sensors, robotics, drones, driverless technology, and software for efficient agriculture.
Even before planting takes place, precision farming plays a huge role. Decisions on seeding rates and variety options can be made based on information obtained from precision technology. It can reveal what seed varieties thrive in certain soil types or otherwise, and other information. It can also be used to determine the quality and fertility of the soil for better planting decision.
Naturally, technology which makes it possible to supply crops and livestock with exactly what they need will reduce wastage. That is one of its biggest strengths. It also reduces loss. For instance, AI makes it possible to detect pest infection early and treat it before an entire orchid is lost.
The environment also benefits from this technology. One of the causes of environmental hazards are excessive use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. The use of technology in agriculture reduces this as it ensures that plants get the exact amount of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers needed. Precise nutrient and fertilizer application helps manage application in environmentally sensitive areas.
Another strong suit of precision agriculture is its ability to monitor and collate data in real time. Farmers can use modern technology to monitor and collate data on climate. This information could enhance farming decision making. Weather changes have been one of the causes of natural disasters among plants. This has led to losses. However, with technology used to obtain real time data on the conditions of crops and weather predictions, these disasters can be averted.
Sensors can be used to measure moisture content and soil temperature for irrigation purposes. Imagine your plant is given exactly how much water it needs and not a drop is wasted; precision agriculture makes this imagination a reality.
The “Internet of Things” takes advanced technology in agriculture to another level. This is simply the connection of any device to the internet. This makes it possible to transfer data over a network without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction
This innovation has made sharing of data much easier. Smartphones and tablets can be now be connected to useful applications such as cameras, microphones, and GPS. This makes it easier to carry out various agricultural activities such as field mapping, animal tracking, obtaining crop information and more.
Despite its many advantages, precision agriculture is not without its faults. For starters, these high tech equipment don’t come cheap especially for the average farmer. Maintenance, operational, and technical costs also affect cost.
Another limitation is in its usage. The average small-scale holder farmer may not have the technological know how to apply precision agriculture technologies and training them will likely require a huge investment of resources.
Farmers must apply care when using precision agriculture tools. Missing the tools can cause unintended damage to crops and livestock. For instance, while they can use drones to monitor crop development and crop spraying, the drones could also be potential airspace interference.
Lastly, even technology is not 100% accurate. The provision of the wrong data by these machines could lead to wrong decision making. For instance, inaccurate data provided by the machines could cause a farmer to over spray fertilizer or pesticides, which could end up being harmful to the plants.
However, the advantages of precision agriculture seem to outweigh its disadvantages.What are your thoughts on precision agriculture? Let us know in the comment section below